Every business wants to flourish & in order to do so, increasing the business’s ranking on Google is really very essential. On the way to get a place in the top most searches of Google, we make different SEO strategies. One of the basic strategies in this process is to go for Google My Business listing. The aim behind Google My Business (GMB) is that it increases the chances of getting search result in your favor & makes your Google business page popular.
The GMB is able to do so by showing your business’s name in Google’s Local 3-Pack, adding business to Google Maps as well as to the Local Finder. You don’t have to do much to claim the free listing. You have to provide some basic information to qualify your local business and then you are good to go.
Just to register business on Google My Business listing is not enough; one should possess the knowledge of using it for the benefit of the business. You will not have an advantageous position by just getting listed, you have to use its features to optimize it. We will discuss the Google features in this article, but before we jump into that you need to make sure you register your business on Google My Business by visiting https://www.google.com/business
Now lets have a look at some quick hacks and tips for Google My Business Listing Features Optimization.
Fill your Google My Business Profile Completely
First you have to complete your business profile on Google My Business by filling in basic information about you business. Providing sufficient information helps the customer to find your business from the million others. Here is how you can claim and optimize your GMB profile. It is to be noted that anyone can make a suggestion to edit your business’s information and get it changed. For example, a competitor could use the suggestion box to relocate your business, which benefits them by trying to move you out of the way. If you’re the type that doesn’t get online much or may not check GMB regularly, this could be an issue.
When someone clicks on your Google My Business listing the “Suggest an edit” feature is available for them to use, as seen below.
On clicking this option, the searcher can make changes in your listing.
In an attempt to remain protected from any such changes, one should login to Google My Business account on a regular basis. Other than this, one should check for the notification of pending changes suggested by different searchers that need to get your approval.
How “Know this place? Answer quick questions” feature works?
In addition to the “Suggest an edit” option, there is another option which says “Know this place? Answer quick questions”. Google has incorporated this option to know more about your business. Any person who has some information in relation to your business can click on this option and give the answers to the questions asked about your business.
They’ll then get a prompt to answer a few questions about your business and their related experience:
There are some business organizations that are against this feature. According to them, the competitors can use this feature as a weapon to ruin their Google My Business Listing. But, Google has a different opinion on this. Google considers this “user-generated content” as an attempt to complete the profile of the business and at the same time, it grants Google an opportunity to develop its various search strategies.
So, it is really very important to check your GMB listing regularly and protect yourself from any malpractice.
Google My Business Posts in Knowledge Panel and Google Maps
Before discussing further, we should first understand that what are Google Posts? The Google My Business Posts are “mini- ads” which appears on the search result for your GMB Listing in both the knowledge panel and google maps.
One can make various additions to his/ her Google posts like incorporating an image in the post, using a Call to Action (CTA) or hyperlink the post with some other web page. The user can even use Yext to create Google posts.
Below are some ideas which you can use to create your own GMB Posts:
- An event post can be created, when you are looking forward to organize an event, in which you can add the details like the time and date. Along with this, a link can also be attached to it which will direct the customer to the registration page of that event.
- Create a sale event post to let your customers know about a sale.
- Want to promote your latest product? Just create a post having the images of your product and provide a link through which the customer can purchase that product.
- You can even make posts to wish the customers and spread joy like a post wishing Merry Christmas or New Year etc.
Creating a Post on Google My Business
You can design a post of any kind and Google assists you in this by giving you reminders about creating a post. You should keep in mind these posts will remain active for seven days or until the specified date on which the event will be held.
Pro Tip: You should test different image sizes before making a post. If the image is not of an ideal size then it will not appear properly on Maps along with the knowledge panel. Images which are properly sized, will not get cropped and will appear clearly.
You can create a post by clicking on the “Posts” tab which appears on the left side of Google My Business dashboard.
Here, a question arises that whether these posts have a positive effect on the ranking of your Google Business Page? The answer is yes, it improves the ranking, as tested by Joy Hawkins with Steady Demand.
Use Google Booking feature to get new customers
Who doesn’t want to flourish its business and wants to attract more and more customers. This could now be possible with Google’s booking buttons feature. Through this, a customer can book an appointment from the GMB listing without much of a hassle. The customer’s work becomes easier using the button feature and thus more and more customers are attracted towards your business.
The Google My Business Listing of your business will show a button to schedule the appointment if you have already created an account with any of the scheduling providers of Google.
Enable Text Messaging on Phone Number or Google Allo
Connecting with customers is a good way to make them confident about your business and leave a positive impact on them. So, you can use the messaging feature to connect with customers. This feature allows the customers to send you text messages when they have questions about your product or service.
If you don’t want to receive messages directly to your personal number then it’s better to use Google Allo app.
You will receive notifications for messages on Google Allo app instead of getting the message in your personal inbox.
For enabling this feature, just click on the “Messaging” option appearing on the GMB dashboard.
The messaging feature of Google my Business is still in development stage so you must take a note of it. This means that the option of messaging will show up to the mobile web users who are using Chrome only. It will not appear to the desktop as well as the mobile app users.
In addition, the messaging option will also not appear in the knowledge panel along with the Google Maps.
Questions & Answers on Google Local Search
If people will know more about your business then there are chances that if satisfied with your service, they will become your permanent customers. The Question & Answer feature allows the people to know more about you by asking you some questions and you will give answers to their questions.
Here are some guidelines that will help you out with this feature:
- The mobile GMB app does not support the Question & Answer feature.
- Login to your Google My Business dashboard to find out if you have any new questions that need to answer.
- You need to have an android mobile device to monitor the customer questions, iPhone users cannot use this Google feature.
- Business owners can use google maps app to get a notification about the questions asked and also answer the questions.
TIP: You can take help of the GMB Support Forum, in case, when someone abuses your Q&A feature by giving incorrect answers using “Suggest an Edit” option.
Ask your Customers for Google My Business Online Reviews
Reviews are a nice way to know what’s there in the mind of customers. Hence, Google wants business owners to ask for reviews from customers. You can easily ask the customer for a review by just following the guidelines given by Google. The customer reviews appear along with your listing in the knowledge panel whenever your business name is searched and also appears in Google Maps too. Good Reviews about your business helps you to build goodwill and good reputation in the market.
Additionally, online reviews impact search result rankings, consumer trust, and click-through rates.
According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey:
- 97% of potential customers checkout online reviews for local businesses.
- 12% of internet users are actively searching for a local business every day
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 73% of consumers trust a local business only after reading positive reviews
- 51% of consumers don’t choose a business if it has less than 4 star rating.
- Responding to good and bad reviews is very important nowadays, with 30% of consumers stating that this says a lot about how a business treats their customers, when judging local businesses
- 68% of consumers leave a local business review when they are asked for it.
- 79% of consumers report to have read a fake review in the last year
Your work doesn’t end on getting the review; you also have to respond to that review. Whether the review is a positive or negative one, a reply to that review makes a positive image of yours that you welcome the feedback given by the customers.
It’s not that you’ll always get positive reviews, there will be days when you’ve to face some negative reviews also. In such situation, don’t feel low as there is a rainbow after the storm. A few negative reviews will be covered by a lot of positive reviews. So, it is not worthwhile to put so much stress on the bad reviews, keep your focus on providing the highest level of attention to customers in order to get good reviews.
If you do it in right way, Google My Business Listing can provide you significant improvement in your business growth. Each of the points mentioned above are equally important to take the benefit of GMB listing. As a business owner, you must have learnt now how important Google local search listing is for your business growth and lead generation without any charges. Well, if you still have any doubt or queries about Google My Business listing and its optimization, you can always ask us questions here or Contact Marketing Media Wizard to talk with one of our helpful specialist.